ND House Passes Bill Concerning Transgender Youth In Sports
In a very controversial bill, the North Dakota state House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday, February 11th, 2021, that will ban transgender athlete from participating from teams that match their gender identity.
The bill, HB 1298, passed in the state house 65-26 and will now move to the senate for consideration and possible amendments. There was an interesting amendment adopted late into the process that would allow girls to play on exclusively boys' sports teams. According to an article on KFYR-TV, proponents of this bill say it's intended to protect opportunities and scholarship for girls. They also said it's meant to protect the difference in biology.
Some lawmakers spoke out against the bill, saying this could lead potential litigation in North Dakota. Other opponents said it's a targeted anti transgender bill.
I'm trying to run this through in my head. Talking high school sports in particular, I can see where there is hesitation. Again, speaking biology only, in most cases there is a big difference in the strength between a high school boy and a high school girl. There's really no denying that. I think of sports like girls hockey and even basketball. Just imagine a high school boy taking the rock to the hole going 90 miles and laying out a female defender. The contact between a boy and girl could be dangerous at that age. Even though girls hockey has no checking, if you've ever watched a game, you know there's contact.
I'm certainly not anti transgender, but to me, the safety of girls athletes needs to be considered. Not to mention the fairness of scholarships opportunities for female athletes. This is truly an issue with a lot moving parts.
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